Staying with Singapore for a while, it is opportune to provide a link to revelations that are being taken very seriously in Singaporean society. The link here gives you the basics, with the summary being a key member of Singapore’s dynastic political family suggesting that the President was personally and politically imperfect. Heresy indeed.
I’m still thinking through the meaning and consequences of these surprisingly candid comments. Part of me sees echoes of a garden variety family falling-out, but there is certainly a bit more to this development. What is perhaps more striking are the traces of Royalist language and thinking, that “we” are uniquely positioned to see, and speak out on, what is the best for the country.
In this is almost an abandonment of the democratic pretense that the Singaporean people should judge the best President electorally. Or is it, perhaps, a shrewd move to create almost unprecedented space in the public sphere for a potent political opposition?I’m unconvinced the latter was intended, but it may be the consequence.
The most stable regime in Southeast Asia is suddenly just a little bit vulnerable.
Update – The always insightful Thomas Pepinsky’s take on the issue can be seen here.